Google has decided to play the privacy card and opt out of sharing data for all search activity unless you are an advertiser. Then, it will cough up the goods.
Search Engine Land, which questioned whether Google might be aiming to block NSA spying activity or trying to increase ad revenue, quoted Google as saying:
“We added SSL encryption for our signed-in search users in 2011, as well as searches from the Chrome omnibox earlier this year. We’re now working to bring this extra protection to more users who are not signed in.”
And by “signed in,” what they really mean is, signed in to Google Adwords as customers.
This all started two years ago when Google announced that they would begin encrypting search results for logged-in Google and Google product (i.e., YouTube, etc.) users. At first, no more than 10 percent of keywords were affected, then, that began rising. HubSpot found that by January, about 55 percent of organic search results were encrypted, and the results have increased by about 4 percent per month since then. Today, about 74 percent of search terms are encrypted.
This brings to mind the story of the frog in a pot of water on the stove. Though the frog could jump out at any time, he doesn’t because the temperature rise has been gradual, and he cooks to death. Google has been slowly turning up the heat, so, until recently, nobody called out Google.
SEO data options are limited
Now, the options for getting good data for marketers is limited. If you want Google data on organic search, you will have to become an Adwords customer. Then you can connect your company’s AdWords account to your Google Analytics account and use that data for keyword research.
Another option is to use Bing and Yahoo data. While Google still has about 67 percent of the search market share, the other search tools yield a combined 33 percent and can provide an indication of the best keywords.
While you won’t know which keywords are pulling results, you will still be able to see how much organic search your website is getting, and you can correlate the content you’re creating to a risein traffic. Also, rank will provide a measure of results in SEO and content creation.
Content creation still important
Nobody doubts, however, the importance of content creation. You must continue to create content for your website, and it must be high quality content that provides solutions to your customers’ problems. You may not know the exact keywords to target in your content based on reports from Google, but there is no doubt that writing great content will always draw readers to your website.